“It’s all still in my head, where it happened, who held me down, the balcony above me. And how it was all masked by a party with gifts and music.” Mariam, born in Djibouti, recounts her traumatic experience when she was 5 years old. As a young woman she joined a movement to end female genital mutilation in her country and vowed never to do this to her own daughter. However, in Mariam’s absence, her traditionalist mother arranged to have the baby cut and some months later the child died from an infection. The EU is adamant to end this inhumane act of female genital mutilation and supports UNICEF in its educational programmes with UNFPA on women's and children's rights and health risks.
Migration is a global phenomenon driven by many forces starting with aspirations for dignity, safety and peace. The decision to leave home may be extreme, and often, the beginning of a dangerous, sometimes fatal journey. On the occasion of International Migrants Day the EU states "we stand strong in our unequivocal commitment to respect and protect the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants as well as to ensure that migration takes place in a safe, orderly and well-managed way."